There is no doubt in my mind that we are extremely fortunate that Obama, not John McCain is president. What we have in Obama, so far, is a president who is far from perfect but who lives in the real world. But I am no longer so favorably disposed to him. While his administration has done some really good things (see the FDA) he is a president who nonetheless deserves much criticism -- what president wouldn't under the current circumstances? What an impossible job! Nonetheless, no one told him he had to run for the office, so he should listen to the advice of others, especially when it comes to sources more informed than those who surround him.
The area of criticism that most interests me is how he and his administration are dealing with Mexico in three areas: e/immigrants, the trans-border drug situation, and trade. He is certainly showing no hint of enlightenment in these areas. I would be very interested to know if he is getting any information from his ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, a man who may know better than the people in Washington. I'm going to see if I can find any information on how Pascual has been doing his job.
Today, however let's look at e/immigrants, and from the perspective of El Universal, the big Mexican daily (a newspaper that is a lot of fun to read, is very informative, and makes good use not only of print but of the internet).
The headline of the article in yesterday's paper reads:
"Obama wants to win points at the cost of migrants"
The article continues (my translation)
Migrant groups describe the hardening of immigration policy in the United States as electionerring and say that it is a response to [Obama's] loss of popularity.
The decision of the Obama administration to seek $4,600,000,000 from Congress to strengthen the work of the Border Patrol and to continue the project of [building] the first stretch of the wall [along the US-Mexican border] provoked a series of demonstrations in opposition and caused unease in the HIspanic community of the US as well as among Mexican experts on migration, who see in the measure the "burial" of the promised agreement [on immigration].
"If the White House has already decided that it will not introduce an initiative to reform immigration until after the midterm elections in November, it is going to have very serious problems, because it is very clear that the record of raids and deportations by the Department of Homeland Security under Janet Napolitano has been equal to or worse than under the Bush Administration," said Angela Kelly, Vice President in charge of migratory policy at the Center for American Progress.
U.S. Representative from Illinois, Democrat Luis Gutiérrez, said that community and religious leaders in southern California agreed to implement tactics "to make ourselves visible on a march in Washington on the 21st of March" to protest the Obama policy.
[The president off the World Association of Mexicans in Foreign Countries, Carlos Villanueva, and José Luis Arzola, the ex-president of the Frontier Commission of the same organization, are the ones who made the comments cited at the beginning of the article about Obama acting against migrants for poitical purposes.]
They added, "It represents a backward move for the conditions of the Latin Community in the United States which would lead to raids and hate crimes and would bury whatever hope there had been for migration reform which Obama had promised during his campaign in order to get the Latin vote."
The criticism is growing, and with reason. In the "Related News" box on the same page of El Universal, you can find articles headlined:
"Obama is acting [against immigration reform] to get re-elected"
"Obama appears more and more like Bush"
In the box offering related sites, you find:
Forum: Has Obama deceived you about e/immigration matters?
"Obama hardens against migrants"
For those of you who read Spanish, it is also interesting to read the "comments" section here.